## Tuesday, November 9, 2010

### 6x6x6

The 6x6x6 is the next step up from the Professor Cube. The ultimate solution takes care of this cube in much the same way as the Rubik's Revenge. The basic idea is to reduce the cube so it's essentially the same as a 3x3x3 cube. Once that's done, it behaves like a 3x3x3 cube, with the notable exception of two swapped corners at the end of the solve being a possibility.

The Basic Plot
1. Solve centers
2. Reduce edges
3. Place edges (inc. Inverted Edge)
4. Solve corners (inc. 2 Swapped Corners)
Step 1: Solve Centers

This is similar to the Rubik's Revenge, in that there is no fixed center piece. Although you can solve any colour in any order, I'll begin by solving the white center.

Next, solve the yellow centers, on the opposite side. The basic technique is to place a row of yellows, then turn the face, and then put back the displaced row of white centers.

Once the white and yellow centers are solved, complete two more centers. They don't need to be next to each other, and they can be any two of the four remaining colours. I'll do the blue and red centers.

The last two centers are harder than the others. But not much. Fortunately, a corner piece series will come to our aid here. We use the same turns but some are in slices, rather than outer faces.

Step 2: Reduce Edges

All centers are now in place and it's time to match edge pieces to create edge quartets. You'll notice that instead of there being 1 edge piece joining two faces, there are 4. The goal is to first match 11 of the edge quartets. Once that's done, the last edge quartet will either be correctly matched automatically, or else will need further dealings. Use the edge piece series as follows
1. Find four edge pieces needing to be matched
2. Bring them together (centers will be disturbed)
3. Use an edge piece series to move the matched edge quartets onto a different face. Make sure that piece 3 is not already a matched quartet.
4. Return the centers
It's a simple procedure, and will work nicely for most of the edges. However, since there are 4 edge pieces needing to be brought together, and only 4 faces to do it on, you'll sometimes find that it's not possible to make a quartet straight away. For example, if you're making the green-red quartet, but there's one green-red edge piece next to another green-red piece which is inverted, you'll need a different strategy.

Before you know it, you'll be down to four edge quartets left to make.

With four to go, we're a little more restricted, but the general process is the same.

Help! I Only Have One Unmatched Edge Quartet Left To Make.

While it's common to end up with a single unmatched edge quartet, this is not a problem on the V-Cube 6. We can fix the problem by turning the bottom two slices one turn, then resolving centers. After this, the edge quartets will match up without issue.

Step 3: Place Edges

Now treat each edge quartet as a single edge piece. Turn only the outer layers. Position the edges exactly as you would for the 3x3x3 Rubik's cube.

Help! My Last Quartet Is Placed But Inverted?!?

This will happen some of the time. The fix is the same as for this situation on the Rubik's Revenge. We turn the bottom 3 slices one turn, then re-solve centers and re-match edges. Once this is done we may place all reduced edges without issue.

Step 4: Solve Corners

This is the same as for the 3x3x3 Rubik's cube. Carry out corner piece series until you have only 3 corners remaining. Then carry out the end game.

Help! My Last Two Corners Need Swapping?!?

This will happen some of the time. The fix is the same as for this situation on the Rubik's Revenge.
1. Rotate the top half of the cube 180°
2. Remove the unmatched edge quartet using an edge piece series
3. Return that same edge quartet but inverted (make it piece 3)
4. Turn the whole cube 180°
5. Remove the unmatched edge quartet of the same colours as before using an edge piece series
6. Return that same edge quartet but inverted (make it piece 3)
7. Rotate the top half of the cube 180°
8. At this stage, your cube has some of the edge quartets out of position. Proceed as normal to re-place the edge quartets and solve the corners.
It's a simple method, and it's much easier to understand by watching it happen.

And that's it. Your 6x6x6 is now solved. I trust this site has been helpful. If you have any questions or want some clarifications, please use the comments to do so. To buy this puzzle, click here.